External and Internal Factors of Wal-Mart Wal-Mart is one of the leading multinational discount department retail stores. One key characteristics of Wal-Mart is the diversity. Sam Walton’s goal was to help people live better by saving money. Wal-Mart is by far one of the most successful companies worldwide. Wal-Mart is a leader in diversity, globalization, technology, innovation, and ethics. Ethics plays a big role in the success of the company.
Thru the ethical code followed, Wal-Mart hires, retains and promotes the right people into the right leadership roles. The ability to adapt to internal and external factors also helps them stay ahead of the game. Wal-Mart is a widely admired worldwide leader in the retail industry and employer. Internal Factors and the Functions of Management Wal-Mart has several internal factors that affect the four functions of management. Two of these factors are diversity and ethics. Wal-Mart is a strong believer in diversity. We make diversity part of our business plan, ensuring we can continue to be a global leader in all aspects of Diversity and Inclusion” (Diversity, para 1). Wal-Mart uses diversity at all levels of employment. Through diversity, Wal-Mart can use the four functions of management to achieve their goals. Management uses diversity in planning. Wal-Mart thrives on possessing a sustainable workforce and diversity is their key in all aspects of the company (Wal-Mart, 2011). Diversity is seen in organization. Management hires and recruits a diverse group of people.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
These individuals receive training in diversity and other areas to become the best employees (Wal-Mart, 2011). Because Wal-Mart incorporates diversity at all levels, diversity is seen in leadership and controlling. Diverse managers lead a group of diverse employees to accomplish Wal-Mart’s goals. Ethics plays a major role at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart’s statement of ethics includes three sections, respect for the individual, service to their customers, and striving for excellence (Wal-Mart, 2011). Wal-Mart has created a program for their ethics standards.
This program “exists to strengthen the implementation of positive labor and environmental practices in factories, to bring opportunities for a better life in the countries where merchandise for sale by Wal-Mart is sourced, and to verify factory compliance with our Standards for Suppliers (code of conduct)” (Ethical Sourcing, para. 1). Management uses ethics during planning to ensure all plans and decisions follow Wal-Mart’s ethical standards. During organization, management hires employees who receive training on Wal-Mart’s ethical standards and are required to continue to follow these standards during their employment.
Managers use ethics in their leadership and encourage all employees to act ethically as well. Management continues to monitor employees’ work to ensure that the ethical standards are followed. External Factors and the Functions of Management Wal-Mart also has external factors that affect the four functions of management. One of Wal-Mart’s goals is “to bring you the best shopping experience on the Internet” (An Introduction to Wal-Mart. com, para. 2). Wal-Mart’s use of technology affects the four functions of management.
Wal-Mart has a detailed website where customers can browse through the million different products Wal-Mart offers. If a store does not have the product the customer wants the customer can go online to Wal-Mart’s website and order it. Wal-Mart can deliver the product to the individual’s home or to a nearby store for no shipping charge. Technology affects all four functions of management. Wal-Mart’s management team must come up with a plan for technology to help them achieve their key objectives. Next, the management team must organize their ideas and employees for their plan with technology.
Once the plan is in place management must lead employees to achieve break through results with the online website. Last, the management team must control the plan and monitor employees to ensure the website continues to be successful. Factors and Their Effect on Wal-Mart Globalization Wal-Mart became an international company in 1991 when it expanded into Mexico. Wal-Mart International was formed two years later in 1993. Today there are 4,774 international Wal-Mart stores located in 14 countries with planned expansion into Africa in the near future. http://Wal-Mart stores. om/AboutUs/ In 1996, after Wal-Mart had disappointing news for investors and the stock dropped, the company realized its mistake of having a weak, division-oriented planning process. John Menzer, Wal-Mart’s CFO at the time, and his team developed a high-performance planning process that encompassed the expansion to other countries (Barr, 1999). The international operations currently account for half of Wal-Mart’s profits. The planning process has allowed Wal-Mart to project ahead for long lead times on profitable growth and the difficulties of doing business in other cultures (Barr, 1999).
Wal-Mart has faced many organizational issues with the international expansion of the company: language and culture barriers, differing laws, regulations, and economies that affect business operations, and varying consumer desires. Wal-Mart has tackled the diverse workforce requirements by retraining their human resources division to attract and recruit innovative, talented, quality workers of various nationalities and cultural backgrounds to aid in the integration of the various international store sites. Managers must respond to nuances in communication styles and the expectations that employees have of their leaders across cultures” (Anthony, Kowske, & Nilsen, 2005, para. 3). To further international leadership development and cross-cultural communication, Wal-Mart created a program that involves the participation of 25 to 30 people on a rotating six-month basis. It includes managers and assistant store managers from around the world. These managers are brought to the United States and given leadership training “Wal-Mart style”. The training includes learning to recognize and adapt to cultural difference in ways of doing business.
Technology New technologies are continually emerging and one of the key reasons that Wal-Mart has become such a huge success is the company’s utilization of cutting-edge technology. According to the Seeking Alpha (n. d. ) website, in 2005, Wal-Mart began using radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology to manage inventory and closely monitor sales. The constant tracking and monitoring of products allows Wal-Mart to plan and adjust for changes in consumer demand, supply chain issues, cash flows and even the size and location of its stores.
Wal-Mart has one of the largest private distribution centers in the world with more than 40 regional centers (Wal-Mart, n. d. ). Without the aid of technology, this never could have been accomplished. High-end computer systems, software, and RFID technology have allowed Wal-Mart to create distribution and logistics systems that keep products available to the consumer. These systems also provide Wal-Mart with the controls to ensure that product distribution centers meet delivery timelines and stocking quotas.
In addition, as fluctuations in the supply process are encountered, the scheduling of distribution personnel, such as Wal-Mart’s truck driver fleet can easily and effectively adjusted. Innovation Innovation is another important factor that can affect the path to success and definitely the four functions of management. When defining innovation the words “new and different being introduced” comes to mind. Innovations are ideas, thoughts, and creativity that can lead to new and different ventures while opening new doors for exploration.
Innovation does not come easy; innovation is a result from an organization that encourages diversity within the workplace. A perfect example of innovation spawning from diversity took place when Wal-Mart created a partnership with another organization. Wal-Mart and the Cleantech Group joined forces to launch a web-based tool that would move Wal-Mart in a direction of environmental sustainability. This partnership has led both parties to develop newer technologies that can recover the environment and improve their business success.
Some example innovations from the diversity and open mind of Wal-Mart are “the development of High Efficiency (HE) stores that are 25 percent more efficient than its typical Supercenters in 2005. The company is equipping all new stores with LED lights and retrofitting more than 500 existing stores with this energy-saving technology. Wal-Mart is also installing solar panels on 22 stores in California and Hawaii that can provide up to 30 percent of the power for those stores” (Wal-Mart Corporate, n. d. ). Diversity
When people hear the word diversity, they often think about ethnic diversity. In fact, many types of diversity can play a vital role in a person’s life. Not only can diversity affect a person’s life, but also, it can affect a company or business. Diversity can be in the skills that a person possesses and demonstrates while on-the-job. The experience, gender, religion, and even geographical locations are forms of diversity. The impact that diversity can have on a person’s life or to an organization should be used as a tool to pave the way to success.
If a company or organization is not combining diversity with their four functions of management, that company just may be singled out and left behind. Ethics The foundation of Wal-Mart’s Statement of Ethics relates to three basic beliefs and applies to all employees including the board of directors. The three beliefs relate to respect, customer service, and excellence. Leaders who demonstrate ethical behavior influence the behavior of others. All management associates of Wal-Mart are accountable for an environment that promotes compliance.
According to Wal-Mart Corporate (n. d. ), “additional responsibilities for management is to lead by example and encourage your associates to act with integrity in all dealings to avoid even the appearance of a violation of our business standards” (Additional Responsibilities for Management, para. 5). Ethics influences the planning process because ethical beliefs can influence goals and priorities. Ethics will also influence budget decisions, which are essential to the planning process. Delegation Successful delegation benefits managers, employees, and the company.
The greatest benefit for a company is a higher caliber of work. Delegation enhances the caliber of work by recognizing the employees who have specific knowledge of services and products to make decisions and accomplish tasks. Quality also improves through increased employee motivation. Employees perform better because they sense a personal responsibility for the result, despite the responsibility primarily residing with the individual who initiated the delegation. Motivation enhances as delegation enhances the employee’s quality of work by increasing the variety of tasks.
Managers, who delegate in an effective way, also obtain various personal benefits. Because managerial work is hectic, time is valuable. Managers have more time to perform their own work when assigning tasks to others. Delegation allows a manager to concentrate on his or her own managerial work such as planning and control. Managers also profit from the advancement of employees’ skills. Managers with a highly skilled workforce have more versatility in making assignments and are more successful decision makers.
Managers who advance their workforce are likely to be highly valued by their organization. Wal-Mart’s ability to adapt to change is their key to success. Over the last forty years Wal-Mart has increased sales and expanded to international markets. Diversity, ethics, technology, hiring, retraining, innovation, and globalization have made it possible to experience such growth. Aside from being a leading retailer, Wal-Mart is also a leading employer who develops, trains, promotes, and promotes a work environment with a respect and integrity.
References Anthony, K. , Kowske, B. , & Nilsen, D. (2005). Managing Globally: Managing a Diverse, Global Environment is Critical Today. bNet Interactive Business Network, August 2005, 3. Retrieved from: http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_8_50/ai_n14931513/ Barr, S. (1999). John B. Menzer – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. , CFO, The Magazine for Senior Financial Executives, October 1999. Retrieved from: http://www. cfo. com/article. cfm/2989929/1/c_3046546? f=insidecfo Seeking Alpha (2010).
RFID Technology Transforming Food Retailers Like Wal-Mart. Retrieved from: http://seekingalpha. com/article/194466-rfid-technology-transforming-food-retailers-like-wal-mart Wal-Mart Corporate (n. d. ). About Us. Retrieved from: http://walmartstores. com/AboutUs/7794. aspx Wal-Mart Corporate (n. d. ). Wal-Mart Corporate. Retrieved from: http://walmartstores. com/ Wal-Mart Corporate (n. d. ). Wal-Mart Statement of Ethics. Retrieved from: http://ethics. walmartstores. com/StatementofEthics/Introduction. aspx